Photography

Robert Louis Christ

November 8, 1948 ~ October 28, 2021 (age 72)

Obituary

 

Robert Louis Christ of Oregon, Ill., and previously of Elgin, a husband, father, grandfather, friend, and a retired police officer who dedicated his career to serving the City of Elgin, passed away Oct. 28, 2021, at KSB Hospital in Dixon, at age 72.

 

Bob was known to family and friends as a strong, steadfast, one-of-a-kind man whose seemingly gruff exterior housed a deep sense of loyalty to those he loved, a natural inclination and ability to protect, a wholly smart-witted and sarcastic sense of humor, and a genuine soft side especially evident to his wife, children, grandkids and pets.

 

Born Nov. 8, 1948, in Elgin to Edward Karl and Marilyn Alice (Chapman) Christ, Bob was a 1966 graduate of Larkin High School, where he participated in concert choir and joined the school’s first Madrigal singers, an activity that fostered a passion for music and introduced him to Janice Zimmerman, his future wife. He also attended Elgin Community College (where he performed with the ECC Chorlairs and sang in a barbershop quartet, “Four Gone Conclusions”); completed armorer’s courses from Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado; and passed an accident investigator’s course from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

 

Bob married Janice, the love of his life, on March 22, 1969, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Elgin. Throughout their many years together, they raised two children, Edward and Angela, and were blessed with five beloved granddaughters. Both avid animal lovers — especially when it came to canine companions — they also surrounded themselves with pets, including 22 dogs in their 52 years of marriage, as well as cats, horses, chickens and more. They shared interest in classical, choral and folk music, and in history, nature and wildlife. Bob was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast who always preferred to ride versus drive, often traveling with Jan by his side. They enjoyed taking road trips to scenic locations, old cemeteries and nearby historic sites.

 

During his career with the Elgin Police Department, Bob served as an officer and later held the distinction of becoming one of the city’s two earliest K-9 officers. He trained and worked with Billy, then Duke, his trusted German Shepherd partners and members of his household. He also held roles as armorer, range officer and motorcycle patrol, and earned numerous accolades and awards, including a Purple Heart from the North American Police Work Dog Association after he was injured in the line of duty.

 

On March 9, 1995, while working his usual night shift accompanied by K-9 partner Billy, Bob responded to a reported fight that turned into a gang member drawing a gun. He was shot four times and despite being wounded he apprehended a second suspect, and his shooter was eventually identified and arrested. Bob fully recovered and returned to work with his partner as soon as possible, the pair patrolling again as “Team Billy-Bob.”

 

Bob was a member of the Blue Knights Police Motorcycle Club, a lifetime NRA member, and was involved with the Police Benevolent and Protective Association, the Elgin Police Pension Board, and the North American Police Work Dog Association. He retired Jan. 2, 2001, along with his K-9 partner Duke, and pursued a quiet life of country living with Jan in Oregon. Sunny and Mick were their current dogs and faithful companions to Bob until his death.

 

He is survived by his loving wife, Janice Christ of Oregon, Ill.; children Edward (Kelly) Christ of Belvidere, Ill., and Angela (Mike) Getzelman of Hampshire, Ill.; grandchildren Jenna, Ryleigh and Piper Christ of Belvidere, and Willa and Caroline Getzelman of Hampshire; and sister Cynthia (Christ) Nelson of Leisure Lake, Iowa. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Karla Christ.

 

Memorial services will be held on Nov. 6, 2021, at Wait-Ross-Allanson Funeral Home in Elgin, with the Rev. Mark Lund officiating. Visitation is from 9:30 a.m. until the service at noon. Interment will be private at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Mt. Morris, Ill.

 

Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris, PADS of Elgin or Puppies Behind Bars.

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